When we hemorrhage monthly, oftentimes we are not maintaining a normal hemoglobin level. In my research, I’ve found that the definition of a normal hemoglobin level varies. My lab results list the normal hemoglobin range for women as 11.6-15.4 g/dL (Please discuss your appropriate level with your physician). When our hemoglobin is depleted, our bodies utilize our ferritin, or iron stores.
For many years, I maintained a low hemoglobin level. My breathing was very shallow. Many of you, like me, adjust to functioning at this compromised level, and don’t even realize it.
I thought that I had effectively raised my hemoglobin level until I tried to run a half marathon. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t maintain a consistent breathing pattern. I discovered around the same time that my ferritin level was a 9. Yes, only 9! In my research, I’ve found that the definition of a normal ferritin level varies. My lab results list the normal ferritin range for women as 11-307 NG/ML (Please discuss your appropriate level with your physician).
I also realized that ferritin counts are not always included in normal lab test results. Hemoglobin is included, but ferritin is not. You may have to request a ferritin lab test.
The solution for me was a complex iron supplement. I had been taking a prescribed complex iron supplement, but the dosage was not high enough to be effective. I’ve found that pharmaceutical iron can cause constipation, and myriad other problems. When you are constipated, the uterus is often compressed. This compression makes monthly symptoms worse. A complex iron will include vitamins B, C and other vitamins and minerals, which prevent constipation. Complex iron supplements can often be found at a good local health food store (Please discuss a suitable iron supplement with your holistic practitioner or physician. It is important that the dosage is monitored and that it is appropriate for you).
When I began to take the higher dosage complex iron supplement, my hemoglobin increased to a normal level and my ferritin levels began to increase as well. I feel better and I’m breathing more deeply. I’m still careful not to over-exert myself with exercise since I believe that heavy-flow issues compromise your oxygen intake.
An iron supplement is one method of increasing your hemoglobin level. I will discuss other options in future blogs.
“…this action and reaction will so build up our own vitality that each day will find us more thoroughly alive than any that had preceded it.”
Thomas Troward, Edinburgh Lectures